Tuesday marks a monumental day. Not only is this the day we will be electing our next president, but it will also be the first time I, personally, will be voting for the next president. I’ve waited four years, turning 18 only three weeks after Election Day in 2012, anxiously looking forward to casting my vote. I can remember going to the polls with my mom when I was younger. “One day you will get your own vote, too,” she said… And here we are.
I wasn’t prepared for this. I didn’t know that America would be faced with such a unique race, no one did. I didn’t really calculate the fact that I would be the executive editor of my school newspaper the year of a presidential election. I never dreamed of covering Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and now President Barack Obama on campus. When I decided to become a journalism major the second semester of my freshman year in 2014, I thought I would be covering nothing more exciting than the changes in the dining hall and resolutions by the Student Senate. But what I really wasn’t prepared for was to be choosing to vote for a candidate based more passionately off morals and personal conduct rather than policy. And, after months of never typing out these words, I am here to say that I am voting for Hillary Clinton.
I am voting for Clinton because I am a woman who is driven for success. A woman who demands respect, dignity and equality. I am a woman who has one too many times had my success credited to my appearance or a male figure. I am a woman who will fight for others to have their right to choose, and to not be punished for the choices they make with their own bodies. I am voting for Clinton for my younger sisters who deserve to be paid as much as her male counterparts. I am a journalist who believes in freedom of speech without fear of punishment. I am an American who believes in inclusion and progressive action. I am an individual who believes in equality for all races and gender identities.
America has been witness to the absurdity of a candidate who is the opposite of the upmost important thing we should expect from a president: respect. Donald Trump does not respect women, he does not respect different races, disabilities, genders or identities. He does not promote peace and freedom of speech but encourages violence against his protesters. You may not agree with every policy Clinton proposes – I definitely don’t. You may not approve of some choices she has made throughout her life and career. But you cannot compare these to the words Trump has bullied America with.
I can’t stand to see a man in office who brags about sexually assaulting women and excuses it as locker room banter. A man who mocks a disabled reporter, who does not pay people who do work for him. A man who wants to deport my close friends and fellow Americans. A candidate who wants to take away my friends’ right to love and marriage. A man who tells his rally goers, “Knock the crap out of them [protesters], would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell – I promise you, I will pay the legal fees.”
I am voting for Clinton because she is a strong woman who has received constant hatred and has stood her ground throughout. I am voting for her because she cares about women’s health; because she cares about education and is working toward making college more affordable, regardless of if “free college” is actually attainable, she is looking to make it better. She believes that healthcare is a human right. I am voting for Clinton because she realizes that America was built on immigration; because Clinton knows that love is LOVE. She wants to expand opportunities for Americans with disabilities and support Americans and families that live with Autism. She understands that climate change is a threat and will work toward a cleaner planet.
Although I would like to say, “I’m not here to tell you who to vote for,” I can’t. As the young voter generation of America we hold the responsibility of our country’s youth to represent the voice and power of progressive America. Take a look at these candidates and realize that we will retrograde into the morals and laws that have not represented liberty and justice for all but instead hatred and selectivity. A lot can happen in four years. Love trumps hate, and I, my fellow Wildcats, am with her.